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Diagnostic Tests for Scoliosis

Diagnostic Test list for Scoliosis:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Scoliosis includes:

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Scoliosis causes:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Scoliosis:

The doctor takes the following steps to evaluate a patient for scoliosis:

  • Medical history--The doctor talks to the patient and the patient's parent or parents and reviews the patient's records to look for medical problems that might be causing the spine to curve, for example, birth defects, trauma, or other disorders that can be associated with scoliosis.

  • Physical examination--The doctor looks at the patient's back, chest, pelvis, legs, feet, and skin. The doctor checks if the patient's shoulders are level, whether the head is centered, and whether opposite sides of the body look level. The doctor also examines the back muscles while the patient is bending forward to see if one side of the rib cage is higher than the other. If there is a significant asymmetry (difference between opposite sides of the body), the doctor will refer the patient to an orthopaedic spine specialist (a doctor who has experience treating people with scoliosis). Certain changes in the skin, such as so-called café au lait (coffee-with-milk-colored) spots, can suggest that the scoliosis is caused by a birth defect.

  • X-ray evaluation--Patients with significant spinal curves, unusual back pain, or signs of involvement of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) such as bowel and bladder control problems need to have an x ray. The x ray should be done with the patient standing with his or her back to the x-ray machine. The view is of the entire spine on one long (36-inch) film. Occasionally, doctors ask for more tests to see if there are other problems.

  • Curve measurement--The doctor measures the curve on the x-ray image. He or she finds the vertebrae at the beginning and end of the curve and measures the angle of the curve (see "Curve Patterns" diagram ). Curves that are greater than 20 degrees require treatment.
(Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers about Scoliosis in Children and Adolescents: NIAMS)

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Scoliosis:

The following list of conditions have 'Scoliosis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Scoliosis or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Scoliosis:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Scoliosis' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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